Lauderdale County
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Richard James 

Known as a pitcher with an overpowering fastball and a sharp curve, he dominated baseball in the Shoals during his youth and ended up in the Major League with the Chicago Cubs. He was dominate as a pitcher in the Florence Little League and continued with a 13-1 record in the Babe Ruth League. He pitched five complete games within six days when he was 14. He went on to start at end for Coffee's state championship football team in 1964. As a pitcher for the Jackets, he posted a 20-2 record and averaged two strikeouts per inning. They lost once over a two-year period, a game in which James pitched a no-hitter. He was selected by National Sportsweek magazine as a First Team All-American pitcher. The Cubs drafted him as the sixth overall pick in 1965 in baseballs free agent draft. The Cubs called him up in September 1965 at the age of 17. He was scheduled to start two games but was unable to do so because of a sore arm. He returned to the Major League team two years later. His first appearance was against the Giants, as he entered the game with Willie Mays on third and Willie McCovey on first, He threw one pitch and got a double play to get out of the inning. However, arm trouble kept him from retumnq to the big leagues after that season.